This week is National Nurses Week. We at Hospice of the Valleys celebrate our marvelous nurses this week, from May 5th to May 12th, the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. It was late last week when our RN Case Manager Supervisor Erica came by my office with a framed piece of art beneath her arm. When she laid it down on the table for us to see, a flood of memories came forth. Seven years ago, in 2012, when this painting entitled the "Selfless Servant" was created, we both had come to know a gifted and very humble Christian artist. This artist did not seek any thanks or notoriety, but only to provide a gift of inspiration, grace, and memory to those walking the hospice journey. She wished to remain anonymous so as not to taint the sense of her art coming as a direct gift from God to the recipient.
So in this special time of Nurses Week, and with our first bereavement department butterfly release on the horizon, I have permission to share with you Rachael Johnson's beautiful work "Selfless Servant," and her inscription to hospice nurses:
This piece is dedicated to all Hospice Nurses who share their compassion, love, and spirit for patients in their final days of life.
The butterflies represent the patients they meet and must one day let go.
Thank you to the Nurses who silently cry. Thank you for wearing the white scrubs and remain strong when a family is crumbling.
And a BIG Thank you for to all of those nurses holding me, as well, when my own butterfly had to leave. You are all angels.
Thank you, Rachael, for being so willing a vessel to bring forth this healing image to hospice nurses everywhere.